With support from Light The Torch (if you’ve been living under a rock, it’s Howard Jones from Killswitch Engage’s newish band, and The Callous Daoboys, the energy level was set early on to what felt like an oversold crowd.
The Callous Daoboys are a very interesting band hailing from Atlanta, Georgia. To me, they had a very clear grind core influence on them, which is something I absolutely dug, but then they went and added a violinist and keyboardist to give it some texture, which, I think they achieve? I haven’t listened to their albums and to be honest, this was the only time I had ever heard them, so for me, live I couldn’t hear the violin and keyboard, which could be from a multitude of reasons, but either way, they really set the tone with an incredible energy packed set.
Then Light The Torch came on with even more energy, Howard running back and forth throughout every song, one has to wonder how he was able to sing cleanly like he does – but he does! If you’ve kept up with me, you know that I just saw them a few months ago and was quite impressed with their live show. I’m not much of a fan of them on album, but for some reason they just hit a lot harder live, so they’re always pleasant to see and never a disappointment.
Avatar is one of those bands for me that falls into a strange category similar to that of Ghost, a band that clearly had to find a way to stand out in Sweden amongst bands like In Flames, Soilwork, At The Gates, etc… which they did very clearly. And while I haven’t bought any of their albums, and have actually been around way longer than I initially thought, I have seen them live several times and can honestly say that their live show is very impressive. While I do think they could easily get away with no makeup or the small theatrics that they do because their performance really stands on it’s own, I also see where it comes in as a nice nod to their circus type look and feel.
Missing bassist Henrik Sandelin (who had left the band’s tour for personal reasons apparently) didn’t seem to knock them off their game at all, and in full transparency I actually am curious if they were using a bass track because I couldn’t hear a difference live. Either way, they brought an absolute ton of energy to the stage from the first song to the last song, the entire band head banging, swinging their hair around simultaneously while playing melodic Swedish guitar to an audience that HAD to be 1/4 children, all the way to the dueling guitars several times. I must say that the while singer Johannes Eckerstrom has the look and charisma of a leading man, the band truly took center stage for me on this one.
If you know me, you know that my love for Swedish metal runs deep into my blood, so seeing the band take this show over and show off a bit, really showed me that while they are a different type of Swedish metal, their influences are clear, and I don’t even need to say them.
Overall, an insanely fun show from start to finish and I look forward to the next one!